British hostage poses for 'selfie' with his captor on EgyptAir flight

Though everyone from world leaders to teenagers have been taking selfies on their phones, it's much less common for one between a plane hijacker and his hostage.

Ben Innes, a passenger on the hijacked flight, posed for a photo with his hijacker

Ben Innes, right, poses with EgyptAir MS181 hijacker Seif Eldin Mustafa, whose fake bomb belt is just below the frame. (Ben Innes/Paul Simon/Twitter)

Though everyone from world leaders to teenagers have been taking selfies on their phones, it's not often you see one between a plane hijacker and his hostage.

Ben Innes, a 26-year-old British man, posed for a photo beside the hijacker of EgyptAir MS181 during the six-hour standoff with authorities at Larnaca Airport in Cyprus, Tuesday. He held seven people hostage, including Innes. 

Seif Eldin Mustafa hijacked the plane with a belt he claimed to be filled with explosives, forcing an Alexandria to Cairo flight to be redirected to Cyprus. This supposed explosive belt turned out to be fake. 

But while stuck on the runway at Larnaca Airport, Innes, a health and safety auditor with oil waste management company TWMA, decided he would take a closer look at the bomb. 

"After about half an hour at Larnaca I asked for a photo with him as we were sitting around waiting. I thought, 'Why not? If he blows us all up, it won't matter anyway,'" he told the Sun newspaper in the United Kingdom

He said he asked a cabin crew to translate Innes' request to get a picture with their captor. Mustafa shrugged approval and they took the photo, which has now been shared thousands of times online. 

All the while, he had been texting his mother to reassure her that he was okay. 

"My mum was obviously frantic with worry and kept telling me not to do anything to draw attention to myself. I didn't know how to tell her I'd already done a selfie with the hijacker," he said to the Sun, though since Innes didn't take the photo himself, it is not technically a selfie. 

He also then sent the photo to a friend in the U.K. through WhatsApp. The friend in an image published by the Daily Mail, responded on WhatsApp with concern for Innes' safety.

One his University of York friends called Innes "a wild man and this is totally in character for him," wrote the Telegraph. 

Innes had been on the flight alongside his colleague at the TWMA, Brian Scott according to the BBC. Innes had been working out of TWMA's office in Alexandria and was on his way home in Aberdeen, Scotland.

"Our focus right now is on getting Ben back to the U.K. and offering any support he needs," a TWMA spokesperson told the BBC, regarding their safety. 

His mother gave a similar response to the Telegraph, though the paper described her as reluctant to talk in any detail about the situation. 

"Obviously, he's not come home yet and there are security issues to think about," she said. "We don't want to talk about anything until it has all been resolved." 


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